Grocery store employees, truck drivers among frontline workers now eligible for free child care

The province has expanded the list of essential workers eligible for free emergency child care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among those are grocery store and pharmacy employees, truck drivers and retirement home workers (scroll down for the full list).

To accommodate more children, Premier Doug Ford says 37 additional centres have been approved and will be reopening in the coming days. Almost 100 child care centres have reopened in the province, along with 40 Licensed Home Child Care Agencies, since they introduced free emergency child care last month.

Related: Pandemic pay extended to more frontline workers

“While our frontline workers are looking after us, we need to make sure we’re looking after them and their families,” said Ford. “Providing emergency child care for our essential workers gives parents one less thing to worry about when they’re on the job saving lives, protecting us, or keeping shelves stocked with food and necessities.”

The additional frontline workers who can now access emergency childcare services include:

  • Workers in grocery stores and pharmacies
  • Truck drivers (driver’s licence Class A and Class D)
  • Workers in the food supply chain, including food processing
  • Workers in retirement homes
  • Auxiliary workers in health care settings, including cooks and cleaning staff in hospitals and long-term care homes
  • Interpreters and intervenors who support people who are deaf, deafened, hard of hearing and deafblind
  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) emergency personnel
  • Provincial officers and onsite staff in Ontario courts
  • Canadian Armed Forces and Department of National Defence staff working in Ontario
  • Additional workers supporting public safety and correctional services

Testing backlog now at 9,530 in Ontario

Public Health Ontario added 347 cases to the province-wide case count on Wednesday, the lowest number of new cases since April 7. It brings the provincial total to 15,728 cases. The province also announced that it processed 11,554 tests since its last update. The backlog of tests now sits at at 9,530.

The updated numbers include 45 more deaths, bringing the total to 996, while resolved cases jumped to 9,612, from 8,964 . The Ministry of Long-Term Care are reporting an increase of 70 deaths, to 775.